A message to our graduating seniors and their families, loved ones and friends from Ms. Meggs-Hamilton:
I have had no greater honor than to speak before our Grace King High School graduating class of 2017. Commencement exercises represent more than just a graduation to me; it represents a new beginning to a future of boundless opportunities.
At commencement, we celebrate the achievements of our graduates and bear witness to their ability to persevere. I, your teachers, and especially your parents hope that when we release you to this world that you’ve gained the skills needed to someday play a responsible role in our society. I know that the class of 2017 is embodied with confident young men and women who will succeed. This class has propelled Grace King from not just being a good school to being a great one. Our seniors possess a wealth of knowledge when it comes to their studies, as well as an enormous amount of fortitude mostly due to their willingness to embrace Grace King’s rich and diverse cultural environment.
As their principal for the past two years, I had the distinct advantage of observing this class when they began their junior year. Most of them had not taken the “hard classes” like AP or honors courses because they were just completing their basic coursework in the core subjects. As the new principal, I wanted to see just how far we could push them academically. The administration met with a group of educational leaders and advisers at the University of New Orleans and Delgado Community college with the goal of giving these students a jumpstart to college or to a career.
Well as you would expect from our children, they have far exceeded expectations. Instead of just earning 1 college credit college, many of them have earned four to five college credits, which is the equivalent of 12- 15 hours or 1 full semester of post-secondary schooling. Many have earned the State required minimum of 18 or higher on the ACT or ACT Work Keys. This attainment qualifies students for college admission and TOPS scholarships. Many of our seniors will be attending colleges in the fall.
Families, we want you to know that when you send your children to us, you send them to people who genuinely care and love them almost as much as you do, because this achievement could only be possible through the commitment of wonderful teachers and staff. Through countless unpaid hours and often limited resources, our teachers made this day one you could be proud of. Educators are like fortune tellers, just without a fortune. However we do understand that when we invest in our children, we invest in building stronger, more prosperous communities which is fortunate for all of us. Far beyond educating children we are charged with helping to reinforce high values, ethics, morality and true kinship. We are charged with creating a since of responsibility, instilling both empathy and compassion for other people, to appreciate differences so that everyone they encounter is treated fairly and this is deed reciprocated. At Grace King we have created such a place, where every individual is given opportunities for success regardless of background, religion, race, sexual orientation, belief, intellectual abilities, economic status or national origins.
Finally, I have watched this senior class blossom into vibrant shades of green and gold (mixed with a little periwinkle from time to time). I want you to know how proud I am of who you are. I am sure I will be even prouder of who you will become. The future is yours! Now live!
Ms. Sharon Meggs-Hamilton